[THE INVESTOR] In a big blow, Samsung Electronics saw its market share in the Chinese smartphone market drop below 1 percent in the fourth quarter last year, according to a report on April 10.
Data compiled by market research firm Strategy Analytics showed that the tech giant was ranked 12th with its market share in the period standing at 0.8 percent, lower than the previous market estimates of 1.7 percent. Chinese smartphone makers -- including Huawei, Oppo, Vivo, and Xiaomi -- took most of the top spots while Apple was the only foreign company that was in the top 5.
Samsung Electronics's mobile division CEO Koh Dong-jin
Samsung, which seems to be baffled by the latest data, raised doubts over the timing of the report’s release.
“I do not understand why the report, dealing with figures months ago, is now being released to the media,” a Samsung spokesperson told The Investor.
The company utilizes the research firm’s data in its sales and marketing operations.
After venturing into the Chinese mobile phone segment in 1992, Samsung became a leading handset maker there. It topped the Chinese market from 2011 to 2013, but has started losing ground to Chinese rivals since then.
Samsung hopes to turn things around with its latest Galaxy S9, which went on sale in China from March 6.
Koh Dong-jin, CEO of the company’s mobile division, previously apologized to shareholders over the falling market share in China.
“China is a much more complicated market than Korea, and Samsung is trying different approaches,” said the CEO, adding the company is likely to soon see the results of its efforts to improve its market share.
Last year, the firm replaced local heads in China and streamlined its sales teams.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)